WI Court Rules Domestic-Partnership Registry Doesn’t Violate State’s Marriage Ban

wisconsinmapOn Friday, a three-judge panel ruled that Wisconsin’s same-sex domestic-partnership registry is not in violation of the state’s constitutional ban on marriage equality.

In their verdict, the judges conceded that “domestic partnerships carry with them substantially fewer rights and obligations than those enjoyed by and imposed on married couples,” Reuters reports.

The current case was brought by the anti-equality group Wisconsin Family Action, which claimed the registry was essentially mimicking marriage.

But while couples who register are able to gain health insurance through their partners, inherit assets and take family leave, it’s a far cry from the 1,138 rights bestowed on heterosexual married couples.

The registry was enacted in 2009, three years after Wisconsin voters approved a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage. Then-Gov. Jim Doyle, a Democrat, brought in attorney Lester Pines to defend it against court challenges.

But current Republican governor Scott Walker says the registry is unconstitutional:  He fired Pines and  wants the state to stop defending it, saying “we don’t believe it is in the best interest of the state and its taxpayers to spend additional time and resources defending the legislation.”